Press Release

Minister Launches On-Line Service For Eating Disorders

Mr Tim O´Malley, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, has today, on World Mental Health Day (10th October, 2002) launched the pilot of BodywhysConnect.

BodywhysConnect is an innovative on-line support service being developed by Bodywhys to further support people with eating disorders. The Minister welcomed this new on-line support service as body image issues are a major part of any eating disorder and this can make it difficult for people to meet face to face. “Its advantages include accessibility as participants can access support to group members and effectively prevents physical comparisons and preconceptions” said the Minister.

The Minister also acknowledged the benefits that this new service will bring to Bodywhys. “BodywhysConnect will reach far greater numbers than Bodywhys can presently access, the running of the service will be more cost effective and facilitation can take place from anywhere” the Minister stated.

Eating Disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can be extremely serious for those affected and their families. Although these conditions are not specific to either gender, they particularly affect women. The symptoms of the disorders may range from mild to severe.

Anorexia nervosa which affects approximately 1% of all adolescent females has been defined as an aversion to food due to psychological causes. A slightly greater percentage of females of all ages are affected by bulimia nervosa.

25-33% of patients make a good recovery after one bout of either condition; 33% continue to have eating disorders including obesity into adulthood while 33% remain chronically anorexic.

The Minister praised the work of Bodywhys and its volunteers. “In today´s busy world the recruitment of volunteers presents a major challenge to all voluntary organisations as people, especially young people, have so many demands on their time. It is important that the public be made aware of the immense work done by voluntary organizations” added the Minister.